Luxembourg’s outgoing Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Friday slammed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over his handshake with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I have to tell you, what I said yesterday still holds true — what Orbán has done with Putin is a middle finger to all soldiers, all Ukrainians that are dying every day and that have to suffer from Russian attacks,” Bettel said, after being asked at the European Council summit what the EU should do to stop Hungary’s continuous blocking of financial aid to Ukraine.
Ukraine has been fighting to fend off Russia’s full-scale invasion for 20 months now.
During budget discussions on Thursday, Orbán made his position clear to the EU leaders, an exasperated Bettel said. The Hungarian leader cannot continue taking the EU hostage based on claims like “if you need money for Ukraine, we need money for us,” Bettel said.
Last week, Orbán doubled down on his close links with Russia by shaking hands with belligerent Putin — an act which has earned him criticism from EU leaders.
On Thursday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda called Orbán a Russian “flirt” after the handshake, underlining that it is “regrettable” Hungary’s leader does not apologize for continuing his warm ties with Russia.